New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

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Topic Author
MountainFather
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 pm

New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by MountainFather » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm

Hello and thank you for reading my post. For many years I have saved money with a variety of strategies. I ended up with money in too many accounts to keep track of or properly manage (Trowe, Chase, AXA, Sharebuilder, TD Ameritrade, etc) I just recently bought my first home and in order to do that, I sold a number of my investments. I am now trying to consolidate my money and close most of my accounts. My step-brother told me about Bogleheads and I have watched all the investment videos here. I understand:

- Keep it simple - use index funds with low cost. Diversify!

- Minimize Taxes (BONDS - in tax advantage account / STOCK in a taxable account)

- I was planning on shifting most of my money to a low expense-fee company like Fidelity or Vanguard but then I realized I could purchase those index funds thought other companies. I want to rebalance my investments and create a retirement plan. That is why I am writing today.

My 4 questions are:

Which company should I use to invest and manage my money?
I am leaning towards using Chase investments but I am open.
Should I sell single stocks and higher-fee mutual funds in order to rebalance my investment portfolio?
I would need to pay gains in order to do this. I already have about $10,000 in gains this year.
Should I sell my retirement mutual funds to decrease fees?
I have money with TRowe Price and AXA in retirement accounts. I think I will roll them into a tax-deferred account and purchase about 40% bonds with this money. I have very little bond currently.
General advice.
What else am I missing? Is there something else I should do?


Emergency funds: Yes but I have lumped all my money together to create percents for this post.

Debt: $388,000 house mortgage at 3.625% (I am hoping to rent half my house to create a very small monthly payment - I have not found a tenant yet.)

Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly - one child

Tax Rate: Not sure - I make about $53,000 and jointly, we make under 100,000

State of Residence: Colorado

Age: 43

Desired Asset Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 60% stocks / 40% bonds - I tend to lean more aggressive but I am sure this is what I “should” be doing.

Desired International Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 20% of stocks?

Total Portfolio is just under 260K
19% is in a saving account
19% is in non-retirement accounts
62% is in retirements although 8% is managed by someone else I can’t alter or access that money. I am a public school teacher and I am not sure if I should have included this money in my portfolio total.


Current Assets

Chase
19% cash (savings account)
9% taxable account (JEMCX, SKT, PGJ, ONGAX, EEM)
15% retirement account (ONGIX, ARKK, SACAX, BOTZ, ROBO, CQQQ, KWEB)

AXA
Retirement Account -set up as 547B for an employer I don’t work for anymore. I want to roll this into something else.
16%- This is well balanced with an aggressive allocation. There are large/med/small caps stocks, bonds, utility and such. On average the funds fees are 1% in addition there is a contract fee of .90.

PERA
Retirement Account - Colorado Public Teacher Retirement Plan
8% - I can’t alter this.

E-Trade/TD Ameritrade
10% taxable accounts - single stocks (APPL, AOA, BABA, CBS, CELG, CHIC, FB, MCK, QCOM, T, UTHR, VLO, ANET)

TRowe Price
23% Retirement Account (ROTH IRA)
Comm & Tech expense ratio .78%
Glob Tech expense ratio .89%
Health Sci expense ratio .77%
Small-Cap Growth expense ratio .79%
2040 expense ratio .72%

My wife does not have much money invested and I need to take care of retirement for both of us. My daughter is 2 years old.

Thank you so much for any thoughts or advice you might have to share. I hope I have given my information in a functional and “correct” manner for this site. Cheers.

-JS

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fortfun
Posts: 2266
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by fortfun » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:10 pm

MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
Hello and thank you for reading my post. For many years I have saved money with a variety of strategies. I ended up with money in too many accounts to keep track of or properly manage (Trowe, Chase, AXA, Sharebuilder, TD Ameritrade, etc) I just recently bought my first home and in order to do that, I sold a number of my investments. I am now trying to consolidate my money and close most of my accounts. My step-brother told me about Bogleheads and I have watched all the investment videos here. I understand:

- Keep it simple - use index funds with low cost. Diversify!

- Minimize Taxes (BONDS - in tax advantage account / STOCK in a taxable account)

- I was planning on shifting most of my money to a low expense-fee company like Fidelity or Vanguard but then I realized I could purchase those index funds thought other companies. I want to rebalance my investments and create a retirement plan. That is why I am writing today.

My 4 questions are:

Which company should I use to invest and manage my money?
I am leaning towards using Chase investments but I am open.
Should I sell single stocks and higher-fee mutual funds in order to rebalance my investment portfolio?
I would need to pay gains in order to do this. I already have about $10,000 in gains this year.
Should I sell my retirement mutual funds to decrease fees?
I have money with TRowe Price and AXA in retirement accounts. I think I will roll them into a tax-deferred account and purchase about 40% bonds with this money. I have very little bond currently.
General advice.
What else am I missing? Is there something else I should do?


Emergency funds: Yes but I have lumped all my money together to create percents for this post.

Debt: $388,000 house mortgage at 3.625% (I am hoping to rent half my house to create a very small monthly payment - I have not found a tenant yet.)

Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly - one child

Tax Rate: Not sure - I make about $53,000 and jointly, we make under 100,000

State of Residence: Colorado

Age: 43

Desired Asset Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 60% stocks / 40% bonds - I tend to lean more aggressive but I am sure this is what I “should” be doing.

Desired International Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 20% of stocks?

Total Portfolio is just under 260K
19% is in a saving account
19% is in non-retirement accounts
62% is in retirements although 8% is managed by someone else I can’t alter or access that money. I am a public school teacher and I am not sure if I should have included this money in my portfolio total.


Current Assets

Chase
19% cash (savings account)
9% taxable account (JEMCX, SKT, PGJ, ONGAX, EEM)
15% retirement account (ONGIX, ARKK, SACAX, BOTZ, ROBO, CQQQ, KWEB)

AXA
Retirement Account -set up as 547B for an employer I don’t work for anymore. I want to roll this into something else.
16%- This is well balanced with an aggressive allocation. There are large/med/small caps stocks, bonds, utility and such. On average the funds fees are 1% in addition there is a contract fee of .90.

PERA
Retirement Account - Colorado Public Teacher Retirement Plan
8% - I can’t alter this.

E-Trade/TD Ameritrade
10% taxable accounts - single stocks (APPL, AOA, BABA, CBS, CELG, CHIC, FB, MCK, QCOM, T, UTHR, VLO, ANET)

TRowe Price
23% Retirement Account (ROTH IRA)
Comm & Tech expense ratio .78%
Glob Tech expense ratio .89%
Health Sci expense ratio .77%
Small-Cap Growth expense ratio .79%
2040 expense ratio .72%

My wife does not have much money invested and I need to take care of retirement for both of us. My daughter is 2 years old.

Thank you so much for any thoughts or advice you might have to share. I hope I have given my information in a functional and “correct” manner for this site. Cheers.

-JS
The fees with AXA are super high. Your ERs on TRowe price are very high too. I'd look into rolling those into Vanguard. Call Vanguard for help. Just pick target date funds if you don't want to rebalance them.

Do you have a 401k available through Colorado PERA (managed by Voya)? Most CO school districts do. If so, I would highly recommend contributing as much as you can to this option. Pick the Target Date Fund that matches your approximate retirement date. Very low fees (.1%) and an excellent option.

Going directly through Vanguard (or Fidelity) will likely be much cheaper than buying those funds through Chase.

You and your wife should have about 500k (each) term life insurance policies.

Switch from Chase to Ally and earn about 2% interest on all of that money you have sitting in Chase making about no interest.

You are doing fine. Despite what you've heard about PERA, you'll have a very good pension when you retire.

StealthRabbit
Posts: 379
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by StealthRabbit » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:24 pm

Total fixed expenses as % of income? (Maybe I missed that)

1) ditch (consolidate) the investments with > 0.3% ER and make sure all are achieving their benchmark performance.
2) if 'giving' is in your plan... consider a DAF for appreciated gains.
3) do various tax planning on your changes determine what best suits your tiers. Tax Thresholds
4) consolidate to a low cost provider, vanguard or Fidelity (likely preference for most comprehensive offerings and strong customer support)
5) if you are going to end up with a pension, consider a much higher equity / growth portfolio. Probably 80%
6) international has not been a stellar performer. But you need diversification. Probably 10% would be adequate until we see more strength in global trade and economic growth. Remember that Total Market funds / ETF represents a certain amount of international exposure.
7) look into Index Fund options, = low ER ... below 0.2, very comparable performance, and preferred for auto-pilot investments (boglehead style)

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patrick013
Posts: 2712
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by patrick013 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:32 am

You haven't read the Boglehead guide ? See the wiki for the book. Fidelity, SChwab, or Vanguard have the lowest fees.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

Topic Author
MountainFather
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by MountainFather » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:55 pm

Thank you for your replies!

Fortfun:

I will roll my AXA and TRowe into something else and get rid of unnecessary fees.

I am not sure that I have a 401K through my employer. I am at a small charter school, so things are a little different than at most schools.

I wonder why you think it would be cheaper to go "directly through Vanguard (or Fidelity)"? Chase give 100 free trades for the first year of their You-Invest program and then it is $2.95 per trade. I am missing something; are there additional fees somewhere that I am missing?
If I keep all my money with them, my trades will be free. But I don't plan to do a lot of trading once I get this all figured out

I will look into Ally. I am not familiar with them.

How did you determine 500K each for my wife and myself for term life insurance? I am in the middle of purchasing term life insurance and I have not decided how much I need yet.

I am glad you like PERA. I have heard mixed things. I am only in my 6th year with them so it will be a long time before I have a solid pension, but you can only do one day at a time. Buying years is not a smart financial move (I think) compared with investing my money in the overall market.


StealthRabbit:

I will get rid of my high ER funds.

Can you tell me more about:
"5) if you are going to end up with a pension, consider a much higher equity / growth portfolio. Probably 80%" Are you suggesting that because I have some money coming from PERA that I should not follow the guideline I have read about on Bogleheads but instead, invest in 80% stocks and 20% bonds? And is this because PERA will have a high % of bonds?

Could you say more about "3) do various tax planning on your changes determine what best suits your tiers. Tax Thresholds" I mentioned that I have about $10,000 in realized gains this year. Might I want to wait until next year to sell some of my taxable investments?

patrick013:

Have I done something wrong? What are you suggesting? I watched the 10 videos and took notes. Did I miss something?


Thanks again for your replies.

-JS

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fortfun
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by fortfun » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:05 pm

MountainFather wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:55 pm
Thank you for your replies!

Fortfun:

I will roll my AXA and TRowe into something else and get rid of unnecessary fees.

I am not sure that I have a 401K through my employer. I am at a small charter school, so things are a little different than at most schools.

I wonder why you think it would be cheaper to go "directly through Vanguard (or Fidelity)"? Chase give 100 free trades for the first year of their You-Invest program and then it is $2.95 per trade. I am missing something; are there additional fees somewhere that I am missing?
If I keep all my money with them, my trades will be free. But I don't plan to do a lot of trading once I get this all figured out

I will look into Ally. I am not familiar with them.

How did you determine 500K each for my wife and myself for term life insurance? I am in the middle of purchasing term life insurance and I have not decided how much I need yet.

I am glad you like PERA. I have heard mixed things. I am only in my 6th year with them so it will be a long time before I have a solid pension, but you can only do one day at a time. Buying years is not a smart financial move (I think) compared with investing my money in the overall market.
If you buy Vanguard funds, which I think you should, it will almost always certainly be less expensive to buy them directly from Vanguard. I suspect Chase must have some additional charge/fee/higher ER for Vanguard funds. Personally, I wouldn't let that free 100 trades entice you. If I were you, I'd probably just pick the target date fund that matches your retirement year and forget about it.

You should talk to the HR/benefits person at your school and see if they can add the PERA 401k to your payroll deduction. As a PERA employer, they can add the 401k to their lineup just by picking up the phone and asking them to add it.

500k is roughly 10x your salary and that's a good starting place.

Good luck to you!

Beefriendly
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:09 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by Beefriendly » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:30 pm

I agree that you might be more aggressive with stocks if you have PERA, with a full understanding of how it works. Each state has different fund balances and projected shortfalls. It looks like Colorado PERA is not projected to be fully funded until 2047. This means that your pension fund has a lot of legislative and financial hoops to pass through by then. As a member of PERA in Minnesota, it has been frustrating to watch legislators drag their feet to even pass common sense changes. I am approaching my retirement funding assuming that my PERA benefit will be there, but am expecting minimal to no inflationary increases. Future formula changes also might result in reduced benefits just to keep PERA funds afloat. Despite this, PERA is going to still result in some very stable income for your future.
I still love being a PERA member and feel that it invested for me when I was too naive to invest for my own future. The disability and survivor benefits are also wonderful.

HomeStretch
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:43 pm

Welcome!

Your take-aways from watching the videos are all on point. Simplify and invest in diversified, low-cost, tax-efficient funds/ETFs according to your desired asset allocation. I’ll add a couple more - live below your means and save 15-20% of your combined income.

Use the brokerage that suits you best. Three discussed here often are Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab. JPM Chase YouInvest has come up in posts so perhaps someone who uses them can offer feedback.

Your marginal tax rate for federal is likely 12% and for state is likely 4.63%.

At age 43, an equity/fixed income allocation anywhere from 60/40 to 70/30 with 20-30% of equities in international is reasonable in my opinion.

Taxable Accounts:

1. 19% cash in Chase account - Use a high yield savings account for your emergency fund.

2. 9% Chase funds/stocks and 10% e-Trade/TDA stocks - turn off dividend and capital gain reinvestment so you don’t buy more. Diversify/simplify by consolidating these holdings at one brokerage and selling as soon as your tax situation permits (perhaps over 2 tax years 2019-2020). Hold total US and International stock market funds/ETFs for tax efficiency.

3. 15% Chase retirement account (what type of account is this?), 16% AXA 547B (do you mean a 457b plan?), 23% TRowe Roth IRA - you can make changes without any tax consequences. Sell to simplify/diversify/reduce high fees/ERs. Hold your bond allocation in your traditional pretax IRAs and hold equities for highest expected growth in your Roth IRAs.

You and your wife should have joint savings goals, asset allocations and investment portfolios. Your wife needs to start saving too.

You don’t mention how much you and your wife are contributing annually to pension plan, IRAs, etc. Try to save 15-20% of your combined income each year. Once you are saving enough for retirement, consider saving for college in a 529 plan.

Topic Author
MountainFather
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 pm

Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by MountainFather » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:24 pm

Thank you again for your time and thoughts.

I have heard from multiple people that buying a Vanguard or Fidelity fund will cost me more if I buy them through Chase. I called Chase and they said that was not true. I only pay the expense ratio of the fund and there are no additional fees that Chase charges. I wonder why people are so sure I should buy direct from Vanguard or Fidelity. The Chase platform I would be using is called You-Invest (https://www.chase.com/personal/investme ... vest/trade)

I did have some confusion about some of the things they told me and I was hoping someone could help me understand.

I have about 60K with TRowe Price in ROTH IRAs. My plan was to sell those funds to get rid of the high expense ratios. I would then transfer the money to Chase and purchase Vanguard or Fidelity funds. The man on the phone said I need to speak with a tax specialist because I would have capital gains. I thought if it was moving from one ROTH account to a new one I would not need to pay taxes. My understanding was that ROTH IRAs are post-tax money and that the money grew tax-free. I don’t want to spend this money, just move it.

I have a similar situation with AXA. I have about 40K in a 457B account and a little in a 403B account. I want to sell all my funds held by AXA, transfer the money to chase and purchase Vanguard or Fidelity funds. I believe these are pre-tax accounts and that they will go into a separate “Traditional” retirement account. Will I run into tax problems if I do this?

Am I going about this correctly? My goal is to get rid of high expense ratios and to close accounts with many of the brokerages to make my portfolio easier to manage and view in one place.

I already have about 10K of capital gains for this year. I sold many stocks and mutual funds in order to purchase my first home in August.

HomeStretch

Thanks again for your advice. I turned off the DRIP as you recommended for the E-Trade account.
You said, “Diversify/simplify by consolidating these holdings at one brokerage and selling as soon as your tax situation permits (perhaps over 2 tax years 2019-2020).” Silly question but why is it better to spread out the taxes I need to pay over more time. If I have the money, why does it matter WHEN I pay it?

You also said, “15% Chase retirement account (what type of account is this?), 16% AXA 547B (do you mean a 457b plan?), 23% TRowe Roth IRA - you can make changes without any tax consequences. Sell to simplify/diversify/reduce high fees/ERs. Hold your bond allocation in your traditional pretax IRAs and hold equities for highest expected growth in your Roth IRAs.” I believe my Chase money is a ROTH Account. And yes, my AXA money is a 457B plan and a little in a 403B plan. I will do as you suggest - BONDS in Traditional and High Growth in ROTH.

Beefriendly & FORT FUN Thanks again for your advice.

I have not done much research yet about which Vanguard or Fidelity funds I will purchase. How do these look? Are there other funds I should be looking into?

FIDELITY TOTAL BOND FTBFX (has expense ratio of 0.45%)
VANGUARD TOTAL BD MKT INDEX INV VBMFX
VANGUARD TOTAL INTL STOCK INDEX AD VTIAX
VANGUARD TOTAL STOCK MKT INDEX INV VTSMX

Thanks Bogleheads

Topic Author
MountainFather
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by MountainFather » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:58 pm

Hello-

Can anyone advise me about the tax-related question in the post below (Oct 9)? Thank you so much for your time and help. I look forward to getting my investments rebalanced and set on the right track.

HomeStretch
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:33 pm

MountainFather wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:24 pm
I have about 60K with TRowe Price in ROTH IRAs. My plan was to sell those funds to get rid of the high expense ratios. I would then transfer the money to Chase and purchase Vanguard or Fidelity funds. The man on the phone said I need to speak with a tax specialist because I would have capital gains. I thought if it was moving from one ROTH account to a new one I would not need to pay taxes. My understanding was that ROTH IRAs are post-tax money and that the money grew tax-free. I don’t want to spend this money, just move it.
There are no tax consequences to:
1. buying or selling holdings within a Roth IRA
2. Transferring your Roth IRA account from one brokerage to another brokerage. Do this as a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer if you can.
MountainFather wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:24 pm
I have a similar situation with AXA. I have about 40K in a 457B account and a little in a 403B account. I want to sell all my funds held by AXA, transfer the money to chase and purchase Vanguard or Fidelity funds. I believe these are pre-tax accounts and that they will go into a separate “Traditional” retirement account. Will I run into tax problems if I do this?
I am not as familiar with 403b and 457b accounts.

I believe you can rollover a 403b or a governmental 457b (pretax accounts) to a Traditional IRA (tIRA). Do this as a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer, if possible. There are no tax consequences to changing funds within 403b/457b accounts or transferring the accounts. You cannot rollover a non-governmental 457b to a tIRA.

Before you rollover the 457b (assuming it can be rolled over), consider that you can withdraw funds from a former employer’s 457b without penalty prior to age 59-1/2.
MountainFather wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:24 pm
HomeStretch
You said, “Diversify/simplify by consolidating these holdings at one brokerage and selling as soon as your tax situation permits (perhaps over 2 tax years 2019-2020).” Silly question but why is it better to spread out the taxes I need to pay over more time. If I have the money, why does it matter WHEN I pay it?
You should sell as soon as your tax situation permits. That could be all in 2019 or it could be done over two tax years if the sales affect the marginal tax bracket you are in.

animarising
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by animarising » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:59 pm

Dude - it's not about the Vanguard funds; it's about the Vanguard philosophy. It's the only company that's owned by its investors. A mutual company. I swear Jack Bogle was the reincarnation of Ben Franklin or George Washington or someone like that - a person who believed in the strength of community and the people.

I mean I love Jamie Dimon as a CEO, but Chase is in the business of making money for its shareholders. Fidelity is in the business of making money for its private investors. Only Vanguard is a mutual company, meaning they are serving those who invest with them - not shareholders, not private equity.

If you want help with your investments, their personal advisor service costs just 30 basis points. If like me, you like managing your own money, they provide information like their annual Economic Report and Recommendations. https://pressroom.vanguard.com/nonindex ... 120618.pdf

Mr. Rumples
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:57 am

A few notes about PERA: When I lived in Colorado, I had the privilege of serving as a aide to a state legislator. PERA reform does seem to have withstood some tests and it appears the reforms are sound. But they will affect the percentage it will provide in your retirement to your overall health financially.

As I understand it, the COLA is eliminated for 2 years and then is reduced permanently. Your contribution will increase from 8% to 10% (not sure if this affects teachers; as I understand it the original proposal was to increase it to 10.5%). The retirement age has been raised. State and local school districts will have to contribute money now to pay existing retirees their promised benefits. Cuts will automatically kick in if the plan goes off course in a negative way which will come from participants in the plan.

Thus while you can mostly likely count on PERA, you must keep an eye on it year by year to see how it fits into your overall financial planning.

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BL
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by BL » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:42 am

It sounds like you don't do your own taxes. I recommend learning about tax brackets, adjusted gross income, and total income, and how capital gains relates to that. Perhaps your tax preparer can help with c.g. You and spouse may be able to earn over 100k, including c.g., before you pay more than 0% on c.g.

Take your time before making a move; do some more reading. The Bogleheads guide to Investing is worth studying. Read If You Can by Bernstein free online. See Wiki.

Try to select the lowest cost or simplest funds where practical. Most Vanguard funds are low cost. Some funds from other brokers are as well, but they may also have costly ones which they would prefer you buy. Beware of advice except here and Vanguard.

I doubt you can move work accounts while working there.

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ruralavalon
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Re: New to Bogleheads - Want to Rework my Portfolio Investments/Retirement

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:09 pm

Welcome to the forum :) .

What is your total joint income?

What is your tax bracket?

Does your current employer offer a work-based plan like a 401k, 403b, 457b, SIMPLE IRA, or TSP?

Is your old AXA 457b a governmental or non-governmental plan?

What type of "retirement account" do you have at Chase? An IRA of some sort, or something else?

Why are you "leaning towards Chase" as the possible location for all of your investing accounts?

You can simply add this to your original post using the edit button (the pencil icon near the upper right corner of your post), it helps a lot if all of your information is in one place.

MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly - one child

Tax Rate: Not sure - I make about $53,000 and jointly, we make under 100,000

State of Residence: Colorado
Here are methods you can use to estimate your federal tax bracket. First estimate your "taxable income". money chimp, "Tax Calculator". Or if your income etc. is fairly consistent from year to year, then look at line 43 on your 1040 tax return for last year for your "taxable income". Then use your "taxable income" to estimate your "tax bracket". Moneychimp, "Federal Tax Brackets".


MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
Age: 43

Desired Asset Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 60% stocks / 40% bonds - I tend to lean more aggressive but I am sure this is what I “should” be doing.

Desired International Allocation: Not sure - based on what I read on Bogleheads about 20% of stocks.
In my opinion at age 43 a fixed income (bond) allocation in the range of 30-40% would be reasonable. Please see:
1) Wiki article Bogleheads® investment philosophy, part 3; "Never bear too much or too little risk"; and
2) Wiki article, "Asset allocation".

In my opinion 20-30% of stocks in international stocks is reasonable. Vanguard paper (March 2012), "Considerations for investing in non-U.S. equities". Historically, allocating 20% of an equity portfolio to non-U.S. stocks would have captured about 84% of the maximum possible diversification benefit, and allocating 30% of an equity portfolio to non-U.S. stocks would have captured about 99% of the maximum possible diversification benefit (p. 6). (You can find lots of debate here on international allocation, opinions ranging all the way from 00% to 50% of stocks in international stocks. If you want more viewpoints on international stocks please try the Google search box, upper right, this page).

Asset allocation is a very personal decision. You must decide on an allocation that is comfortable for you based on your own ability, willingness and need to take risk.

MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
My 4 questions are:

Which company should I use to invest and manage my money?
I am leaning towards using Chase investments but I am open.
I suggest that you manage your own investments.

For account location and funds I suggest Vanguard. Vanguard has by far the largest selection of low expense traditional mutual funds offered anywhere. Vanguard has by far the largest array of no transaction fee ETFS. In addition to its own ETFs Vanguard offers roughly 1800 commission free ETFs of other firms including those of Schwab, State Street (SPDR) and BlackRock (iShares). Kiplinger (07/02/2018), "Vanguard to Ditch Commissions on Most ETFs". I like Vanguard's mutual structure, Vanguard is owned by the Vanguard funds, has no other shareholders, and so conflicts of interest with shareholders don't exist.

If you want to use Vanguard funds I see no particular benefit to holding them anyplace other than a Vanguard account. Why are you "leaning towards Chase"? We have all of our investing accounts at Vanguard, and use only Vanguard index funds.

MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
Tax Rate: Not sure - I make about $53,000 and jointly, we make under 100,000

. . . . .

Chase
19% cash (savings account)
9% taxable account (JEMCX, SKT, PGJ, ONGAX, EEM)

. . . . .

E-Trade/TD Ameritrade
10% taxable accounts - single stocks (APPL, AOA, BABA, CBS, CELG, CHIC, FB, MCK, QCOM, T, UTHR, VLO, ANET)

. . . . .

Should I sell single stocks and higher-fee mutual funds in order to rebalance my investment portfolio?
I would need to pay gains in order to do this. I already have about $10,000 in gains this year.
First of all turn off any automatic reinvestment of dividends that you may have set up. Don't buy more of anything that you may want to sell soon.

You can then later sell with tax liability at lower long-term capital gains rates. Bradford Tax Institute, "2019 Capital Gains Rates".

MountainFather wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 pm
AXA
Retirement Account -set up as 547B for an employer I don’t work for anymore. I want to roll this into something else.
16%- This is well balanced with an aggressive allocation. There are large/med/small caps stocks, bonds, utility and such. On average the funds fees are 1% in addition there is a contract fee of .90.

. . . . .

TRowe Price
23% Retirement Account (ROTH IRA)
Comm & Tech expense ratio .78%
Glob Tech expense ratio .89%
Health Sci expense ratio .77%
Small-Cap Growth expense ratio .79%
2040 expense ratio .72%
. . . . .
Should I sell my retirement mutual funds to decrease fees?
I have money with TRowe Price and AXA in retirement accounts. I think I will roll them into a tax-deferred account and purchase about 40% bonds with this money. I have very little bond currently.
The T. Rowe Price account is a Roth IRA, so do NOT roll that over to a tax deferred account. Instead roll that over to a Roth IRA at Vanguard. Call Vanguard and they will help with the transfer, they will do most of the work for you. Ask for a direct trustee to trustee transfer.

Those expenses and fees in the AXA account are disgusting.

You may be able to rollover the old AXA 457b (depends on whether its governmental or non-governmental) to a traditional IRA at Vanguard. You can rollover a governmental 457b into a traditional IRA. "IRS Rollover Chart". Call Vanguard and they will help with the transfer, they will do most of the work for you. Again ask for a trustee to trustee transfer.

If your current employer offers a work-based plan like a 401k, 403b, 457b, SIMPLE IRA, or TSP, then you could instead consider a rollover of your old AXA 457b into your current employer's plan. Non-government 457 plans can only be rolled over to another non-government 457 plan.

As HomeStretch pointed out "Before you rollover the 457b (assuming it can be rolled over), consider that you can withdraw funds from a former employer’s 457b without penalty prior to age 59-1/2 ".

MountainFather wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:24 pm
I have not done much research yet about which Vanguard or Fidelity funds I will purchase. How do these look? Are there other funds I should be looking into?

FIDELITY TOTAL BOND FTBFX (has expense ratio of 0.45%)
VANGUARD TOTAL BD MKT INDEX INV VBMFX
VANGUARD TOTAL INTL STOCK INDEX AD VTIAX
VANGUARD TOTAL STOCK MKT INDEX INV VTSMX
Those are the correct Vanguard funds to use in my opinion, except use Admiral Shares of total stock (VTSAX) and total bond (VBTLX).

If you want to use a Fidelity bond fund then rather than Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX) ER 0.45% I instead suggest Fidelity US Bond Index Fund (FXNAX) ER 0.025%.

I looked at the link you gave for the Chase "You-Invest" program, they mention "100 commission-free online stock and ETF trades [emphasis added] for one year - just $2.95 thereafter", but do not say that there are free trades or $2.95 trades for traditional mutual funds such as the funds you are looking at.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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